New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari on Monday banished Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy from the house for the day for creating disturbance in the house during question hour. Upset Trinamool members walked out in protest.
Roy was standing at his seat during the question hour, and repeatedly demanded to know who were the beneficiaries in the AgustaWestland bribery case.
A visibly angry Ansari asked the member to sit down, and when he did not obey, the chairman invoked Rule 255, and asked him to withdraw from the house for the day.
Rule 255 says: “The chairman may direct any member, whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly, to withdraw immediately from the Council (Rajya Sabha) and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting.”
This was only after the chairman’s repeated pleas to the member to sit down fell on his deaf ears.
“This is unbefitting for a senior member of the house. This is not an intervention of a member, this is noise,” Ansari said.
Roy continuously kept repeating his statement. He had in the morning sought a clarification from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the payoffs issue.
“Who is the beneficiary of Agusta(Westland) bribery? Defence minister needs to speak. Who is Gandhi, who is AP?” he said just after the house met, referring to media reports quoting from an Italian court ruling on the matter.
As Roy insisted that the government should give out the names of those guilty, Ansari asked him repeatedly to sit down.
The chairman told the member he has already spoken twice, and cannot be allowed to speak during the question hour.
When Roy refused to relent, an angry Ansari asked: “Does anybody want to shout him down or shall I invoke Rule 255?”
Ansari then invoked the rule and banished the member from the house for the day.
“Please leave the chamber, Rule 255 has been invoked against you,” said the chairman.
As Roy left the house, Congress leader Anand Sharma asked for “ten seconds” which Ansari permitted to the displeasure of TMC members.
TMC member Nadimul Haque asked why their member was not allowed to speak.
“Who are you and why are you speaking in this manner?” Ansari said, reprimanding the member.
TMC members then staged a walkout.
However, Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium immediately, creating a ruckus.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asked the chair why a similar rule was not being invoked for the Congress members disrupting the house.
“You took action against one member because he was disrupting the house proceedings. They are also disrupting the house, same action should be take against them as well,” said Gadkari.
Ansari said: “This rule is for individual members.”
The house was then adjourned till 2 p.m..